JLAC approves audit of Tulare Regional Medical Center

Today, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) unanimously approved a request by Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) to audit the Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, Tulare Regional Medical Center, and the Tulare Local Health Care District.

“This audit is necessary to ensure local bonds intended to support a community hospital were used appropriately, efficiently and effectively,” said Senator Fuller.

In 2005, the Tulare Local Health Care District approved $85 million in General Obligation Bonds. These bonds were to pay costs related to the construction and equipping of the expansion and renovation of the Tulare Regional Medical Center which was under the management of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates. The Tulare Regional Medical Center suspended operations on October 29, 2017.

“The unanimous approval of our state audit request affirms the state’s interest in the people’s right to know how their money is spent, ” said Kevin Northcraft, Board President of Tulare Healthcare District. “The community of Tulare owes a great thank you to our State Senator Jean Fuller who made the request and championed it to its approval today.”

  • The audit request passed by JLAC includes the following:
  • A review and evaluation of the district’s spending and monitoring of its bond proceeds – including assessing HCCA’s role in the spending of those funds.
  • Assessing the oversight of HCCA’s management of the medical center from the fiscal year 2014 through 2017.
  • If possible, identifying steps the district could take to reopen the medical center.

“It is my hope that this audit and its findings will lead to the reopening of the Tulare Regional Medical Center and improve access to quality health care for the residents of Tulare and the surrounding region,” concluded Fuller.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

8 thoughts on “JLAC approves audit of Tulare Regional Medical Center

  1. How much is this going to cost taxpayers? The hospital doesn’t have any money. What if it’s found that the Boards were negligent?

    • There is no cost to the taxpayer for the audit. The auditors work with the hospital district and the findings go to the District, it ensures transparency and assists the district to make sure they are using best accounting practices. If there is wrongdoing then referrals will be made to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. It is essential that the public know how their money was used. The District can’t shield wrong doing because it may be a risk.

      • Who pays for it then if not the taxpayer?

        Not that there’s anything wrong with a public entity incurring expenses, including to manage finances…..

        • You’re right…let me clarify. No cost to the District, but yes as taxpayers we do fund the State Auditor’s Office.

  2. If I may be redundant, crime that goes unpunished can be VERY expensive. Bensleezy and Kumar, if convicted of a crime, must do time behind bars. That way, the next predator that comes to town knows that the people of Tulare are not suckers who can be scammed.

  3. The word ‘if’ is the magic word here.The DA, Tim Ward has been paid off to turn his head. And now that he HAD to respond to this issue the two will not go to trial maybe a plea and never see inside a jail. They will pay their way out again.Tulare County is corrupt. Hopefully the people can see the corruption and elect honest people to serve the citizens of Tulare Co. Time for Tim Ward to be out of here.

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